Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? If so, your doctor is likely to introduce at least one of these treatment options for your sleeping disorder – continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP). CPAP and BiPAP machines are used to treat obstructive sleep apnea or respiratory diseases. These machines help patients breathe more comfortably and restfully. You may be curious to know what CPAP and BIPAP are, and how they differ.
The CPAP machine blows a constant flow of air through a face mask to keep the airways in the nose, throat and mouth open during sleep. The pressure of air that comes from this machine can be determined based on your needs. This standard treatment has been a great help for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and snoring.
The BiPAP is a noninvasive ventilation machine used for treating both central and severe obstructive sleep apnea. A BiPAP machine has two different levels of air pressure. One of them is the inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP); this is high level of pressure applied when the patient is inhaling.
The other is expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP); this is low level of pressure applied when the patient is exhaling. BiPAP machines are recommended for treating people suffering from respiratory and some heart-related problems.
Differences between CPAP and BiPAP
CPAP is primarily used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. It also decongests the upper respiratory tract (blocked nose). On the other hand, the BiPAP is used to treat central sleep apnea, along with respiratory and heart problems.
CPAP provides a single level of air pressure (the flow of air is constant). The BiPAP provides two levels of airway pressure – high when the patient inhales, and low during exhalation.
The CPAP machine delivers air pressure that is constant and cannot be altered. With the BiPAP, the airway pressure is adjustable at a higher or a lower level.
With CPAP, patients should use more force while exhaling, because the airway pressure is constant. In BiPAP, the air pressure is set at a high or a low level, this makes it more user-friendly.
CPAP machines are available at a lower price when compared to the BiPAP.
BiPAP machines can be noisier than CPAP machines.
Before considering CPAP or BiPAP, make sure to see your doctor to determine which treatment suits you better based on your health condition. Your doctor will help choose an effective treatment to for your sleep disorder.
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